Review of Genesis 23

by Victor Fawole


Welcome to Genesis 23, another emotional chapter in Abraham’s life. His lover and wife for decades breathed her last. Hmmmmn… It’s usually an emotionally tough experience to bid ones loved one a final farewell!

We have reviewed Abraham’s life in different chapters. I’d like to dedicate this review to Madam Sarah, the stunningly beautiful and jaw-droppingly amazing woman, who radiated beauty even in her old age.

1. SARAH: A Worthy Example
Twice in the Bible, we are told to look to Sarah as an example of a godly woman.

Isa. 51:1-2 Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.

If Abraham is the “father of faith”, it follows that Sarah is the “mother of faith”. She is a model of godly womanhood. When Peter was to admonish Christian women on how to live their lives rightly, he presented Sarah as a model to pattern their lives after.

1Pet. 3:5-6 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

2. SARAH: Righteous By Faith
We may be quick to think that Sarah lived a perfect sinless life. But far from it…

  • She blamed God for her infertility!
  • She initiated and launched “Mission Hagar”!
  • She became jealous of Hagar!
  • She argued with Abraham!
  • She was cruel towards Hagar!
  • She sent Hagar away, twice!
  • She laughed at God’s promise, with doubt in her heart!

I tried imagining what she could have done if Abraham told her about God’s command to sacrifice Isaac! I was just laughing yesterday, when it was discussed on the GOGO Family WhatsApp group.

I do not write these to paint Sarah black. No. I write these to let us see that she was a woman of imperfect acts just like us. We deal with flaws in our lives (impatience, doubt, jealousy, etc.) just like Sarah.

Her righteousness did not come by her attitudes or actions, but by faith! (Heb. 11:11) God’s major highlight of Sarah’s life was her faith, and he counted it for righteousness. This is the same way God made us righteous by our faith! For righteousness, God looks not at our attitudes or actions, but our faith!

No matter the number of charges that the devil brings against us, God sees us as righteous (Rom. 8:33-34). We have a reason to celebrate, for God has blotted out our transgressions and only remembers our faith! (Heb. 8:12, Isa. 43:25, Jer. 31:34).

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 8:1).


3. SARAH: The Free Woman

Gal. 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.

When God approved Sarah’s demand to cast Hagar out of the house, He was teaching a spiritual lesson. This lesson was wha Paul zoomed in on, in Galatians 4.

  • Sarah is used as a symbol of the free woman, representing the covenant of grace and the promise of God.
  • Sarah represents the “Jerusalem above” (Gal. 4:26), the heavenly city, and the covenant of promise.
  • Hagar represents the “present Jerusalem” (Gal. 4:25), the earthly city, and the covenant of law.
  • Isaac, the son of promise, represents those of us born of the Spirit
  • Ishmael, the son of the flesh, represents those under the law.
  • Believers are children of the promise like Isaac, and we are free from the bondage of the law. We belong to Sarah, not Hagar. We are the true sons of Abraham.

Since we are sons of the free woman, let us live freely. I charge us with the very words of Apostle Paul in Gal. 5:1 (permit me to quote in different translations)

Christ has truly made us free: then keep your free condition and let no man put a yoke on you again.

Christ has set us free for freedom. Therefore, stand firm and don’t submit to the bondage of slavery again.

Freedom is what we have—Christ has set us free! Stand, then, as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again.

Christ has freed us so that we may enjoy the benefits of freedom. Therefore, be firm in this freedom, and don’t become slaves again.

We have freedom now, because Christ made us free. So stand strong. Do not change and go back into the slavery of the law.

Grace to you, Church!

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